Ford says its new Ranger Raptor is a “fully fledged member of the Ford Performance family”, claiming that the new flagship version of the double-cab bakkie “doesn’t make any apologies”.

The new Ranger Raptor – which is expected to launch in South Africa (where it will also be built) in 2019 – employs a 2,0-litre four-cylinder twin-turbo diesel engine worth 157 kW and 500 N.m, plus a 10-speed automatic transmission, Fox-supplied suspension and as many as six driving modes.

Speaking to GoAuto, Trevor Worthington, who holds the position of Ford vice-president of product development in the Asia-Pacific region, promised that the Ranger Raptor would be both capable and comfortable.

“The combination of the Ford Performance DNA, and the fundamental capability of what we’ve been able to put in the truck, at last means there’s a sports version that has credibility, but it’s not so uncomfortable to use in everyday use, not so compromised that no one would ever buy it,” Worthington told GoAuto.

“I think we only know how to do things one way, and that is to do it properly. And if you’re going to do a sports truck, it, to some extent, has no limit in terms of what it can achieve. What the Raptor has done over the last number of years has set the benchmark for what these kind of trucks are, straight out of the factory. Our goal with this truck was to absolutely replicate exactly what the other Raptor has achieved.

“We are the little brother to the big Raptor, and so this thing doesn’t make any apologies. It meets all the Ford Performance DNA, sits next to GT350s and GTs and the big Raptor. It’s a fully fledged member of the Ford Performance family. And that means something,” Worthington said.

Damien Ross, chief programme engineer for the Ranger Raptor, described the new model as being “like a luxury car” with an impressive fuel range.

“It’s like a luxury car on the road, so you can do long journeys with your family. It’s got a great diesel with power and torque, but it’s a really good diesel in terms of mileage, so you'll be able to get there, you'll be able to go off road and not be looking at your fuel gauge for the day,” said Ross.

“You can really cover three or four times the distance when you’re going off road and at the other end you’ll feel refreshed. Even when we were on the road , everybody wanted to drive the vehicle back home. Nobody wanted any of the other vehicles.”